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Re: [eldil] The Narnian Tarot...

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  • Steve Hayes
    ... I m glad that the author observes that the Narnian stories are NOT allegory, and correctly points out: === quote === However, The Wardrobe can’t be an
    Message 1 of 5 , Jul 18 10:00 PM
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      On 14 Jul 2008 at 15:43, Yvonne Aburrow wrote:

      > You've seen that the Chronicles of Narnia were based on the seven planets...
      > Now enjoy the Narnian Tarot:
      > http://druidjournal.net/2008/07/10/the-narnian-tarot/

      I'm glad that the author observes that the Narnian stories are NOT allegory,
      and correctly points out:

      === quote ===
      However, The Wardrobe can’t be an allegory in the strictest sense. You can’t
      line up the characters and events precisely and get a nice picture. Why are
      there four children (and not, say, twelve)? Who is Mr. Tumnus, the faun who
      tries to seduce Lucy, and then repents and tries to save her? How about the
      Beavers and Father Christmas? Assuming the White Witch is some kind of
      amalgam of the Devil and Pontius Pilate, what can we say about her servants,
      the wolf and the dwarf?…
      === end quote ===

      Many people don't seem to realise that there is a big difference between
      symbol and allegory.

      But in the links to the Tarot, I think there is too much tendency to
      allegorize:

      * Edmund = The Fool; entering the Wardrobe. The adventure begins with the
      steps into the unknown. More than anyone else, the whole book is Edmund’s
      journey.

      I think that in that sense he might fit the Juggler rather than the Fool

      * The Professor = The Magician Digory Kirke. The hero of The Magician’s
      Nephew, and the maker of the Wardrobe.
      * Lucy = The High Priestess. Lucy serves to initiate the other children
      into Narnia by leading them into the Wardrobe. Also, through her good sense,
      grounded yet sensitive personality, and healing powers (through the vial
      given to her by Father Christmas), she continues to guide and support the
      group.
      * Susan = Empress. Headstrong and commanding, but also nurturing.
      * Peter = Emperor. The High King himself, and war hero.
      * Aslan = Heirophant. The spiritual leader of Narnia, even in absentia.
      * The Beavers = Lovers. This one was hard, given the nature of the book
      — the Lovers theme simply is not well developed. But the love between the
      Beavers, and their love for Narnia and Aslan, are essential parts of the
      story.
      * The Sleigh = Chariot. This represents both the Witch’s Sledge and
      Santa’s sleigh, which are contrasted sharply in the book.
      * Deep Magic from the Dawn of Time = Justice. This is the unbreakable
      law that Aslan and the Witch must both follow.
      * Mr. Tumnus = The Hermit. Another hard one, but it seems to fit, given
      the fact that he lives alone at the edge of Narnia, and his singular
      emotional journey.
      * The Wardrobe = The Wheel of Fortune. It is both the container of the
      world, and the doorway that leads to changes in fortune.
      * Strength = Strength: Lucy and Susan on Aslan’s back. Not only does
      this nicely match the original Tarot image, but the scene in which they ride
      him is a celebration of Aslan’s strength and power.
      * The Stone Table = The Hanged Man. No one is on the table in the card,
      since Edmund should be on it, but Aslan takes his place.
      * The Stone Knife = Death. The ritual object to be used with the Stone
      Table, the Stone Knife is a primal tool.
      * Deeper Magic from Before the Dawn of Time = Temperance. Transcending
      justice and earthly law, the Deeper Magic allows Aslan to save Edmund’s life.
      * The White Witch = The Devil. All traitors “belong” to her, and it is
      clear she is unmitigated evil.
      * The Wand = The Tower. In the final battle, Edmund breaks the Witch’s
      wand, destroying her power.
      * The Lamp Post = The Star. Appearing at the beginning and end of the
      book, leading the way to the next stage of life.
      * Winter = The Moon. Narnia lies asleep, preparing to be awakened by the
      Sons of Adam and the Daughters of Eve.
      * Spring = The Sun. All of Narnia comes alive under Aslan.
      * The Breath of Aslan = Judgment. Aslan returns and nature spirits from
      sleep by breathing on them.
      * Cair Paravel = The World. The final goal; the place from which the
      characters rule all of Narnia.

      Some seem to fit better than others.

      And Kirke was not the Magician, but the Magician's nephew.


      --
      Steve Hayes
      E-mail: shayes@...
      Web: http://hayesfam.bravehost.com/stevesig.htm
      http://people.tribe.net/hayesstw
      Blog: http://methodius.blogspot.com
      Phone: 083-342-3563 or 012-333-6727
    • Steve Hayes
      ... This reminds me of a discussion in the alt.books.inklings newsgroup a few years ago. We were talking about Alan Garner s Elidor . Here s a snippet: ...
      Message 2 of 5 , Jul 19 9:58 PM
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        On 14 Jul 2008 at 15:43, Yvonne Aburrow wrote:

        > You've seen that the Chronicles of Narnia were based on the seven planets...
        > Now enjoy the Narnian Tarot:
        > http://druidjournal.net/2008/07/10/the-narnian-tarot/

        This reminds me of a discussion in the alt.books.inklings newsgroup a few
        years ago.

        We were talking about Alan Garner's "Elidor".

        Here's a snippet:

        On Sun, 07 Jan 2001 13:39:25 -0500, Cloutier <jmclout@...> wrote:

        >> look at the Treasures. I *think* that there might
        >> be images of the Arcana too, but I have never bothered with Tarotery
        >> and I'm not sure. The images I'm thinking of are Malebron and cliffs
        >> and ruined castles. If the symbols are there, they certainly aren't
        >> direct. I'm pretty confident about the Treasures, though.
        >
        > I always thought the treasures were the Arthurian/Celtic treasures
        (stone,
        >cup/grail, spear, sword) that you find in everything from folktales to Andre
        >Norton. I had thought of them as Christianized symbols taken over from
        older
        >religions. The unicorn dying to bring the world back to life was certainly
        a
        >medieval allegory for Christ. (By coming to the lap of the virgin, he is
        brought
        >to his fatal end...) The wasteland regenerated - another symbol. I never
        thought
        >Elidor was a religious allegory, but it uses powerful symbols that have a
        history
        >of association with old beliefs.

        > I remember disliking the book on first reading. But when I realized
        that the
        >unpleasantness and emptiness of the childrens' everyday world has a purpose
        in the
        >book, showing how that world is as much a wasteland as the one they visited,
        it
        >started making more sense to me.

        And I replied:

        I read it for the first time shortly after my first visit to Manchester, and
        found its realism most impressive. Garner gave a feel of Manchester, and this
        made the mingling of fantasy and the real world even more impressive.

        In Narnia there is always a crossing over. While what one has learned in one
        world can be used in the other, what one DOES in the one world does not
        affect
        the other. The other thing about my first reading of Elidor that the pace of
        the action was almost intolerably fast. What happens always brings pressure,
        and it is this pressure on the children that Garner evokes so clearly.

        One thing that I discovered later that made me curious was whether there was
        any link between Findhorn the unicorn and the Findhorn new age community in
        Scotland. I don't think there is, but the coincidence of the name seemed
        remarkable. Does anyone know where Garner got that?


        --
        Steve Hayes
        E-mail: shayes@...
        Web: http://hayesfam.bravehost.com/litmain.htm
        http://methodius.blogspot.com
      • Steve Hayes
        ... I ve been following the discussion there with some interest, and find that though initially there was a rejection of the idea that the Narnian stories are
        Message 3 of 5 , Aug 4, 2008
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          On 14 Jul 2008 at 15:43, Yvonne Aburrow wrote:

          > You've seen that the Chronicles of Narnia were based on the seven planets...
          > Now enjoy the Narnian Tarot:
          > http://druidjournal.net/2008/07/10/the-narnian-tarot/

          I've been following the discussion there with some interest, and find that
          though initially there was a rejection of the idea that the Narnian stories
          are allegory, the people there now seem to have accepted the idea of a
          project to allegorise them in relation to the Tarot.

          I find that a bit odd.

          The Tarot is a set of symbols, which sometimes correspond with people and
          events in the world we know. They may correspond with people and events in
          the Narnia stories, but it seems a strange exercise in reverse typology to
          try and turn the events or people in the stories into symbols.

          I think it might be an interesting and enjoyable exercise to discuss the
          possible relevance of some of the Tarot symbols to some of the events and
          people in the stories, but trying to do the reverse -- create a pack of Tarot
          cards from events in the stories, seems dull and futile and forced.


          --
          Steve Hayes
          E-mail: shayes@...
          Web: http://hayesfam.bravehost.com/stevesig.htm
          http://people.tribe.net/hayesstw
          Blog: http://methodius.blogspot.com
          Phone: 083-342-3563 or 012-333-6727
        • Yvonne Aburrow
          Hi Steve Yes, I think you re right. The idea is quite fun as long it is taken lightly and playfully, but once people start trying to force symbols into a box
          Message 4 of 5 , Aug 5, 2008
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            Hi Steve

            Yes, I think you're right.  The idea is quite fun as long it is taken lightly and playfully, but once people start trying to force symbols into a box that doesn't fit, it doesn't work.  As Tolkien would have said, allegory is dead, long live applicability.  However that didn't stop Lewis being allegorical; I think it was one of the reasons why Tolkien hated Narnia.

            Thanks for the Chesterton quote you posted in the comments on my blog, by the way; for once I agreed wholeheartedly with Chesterton :)

            cheers
            Yvonne

            1a. Re: The Narnian Tarot...
               Posted by: "Steve Hayes" hayesstw@... hayesstw
               Date: Mon Aug 4, 2008 3:09 am ((PDT))

            On 14 Jul 2008 at 15:43, Yvonne Aburrow wrote:

            > You've seen that the Chronicles of Narnia were based on the seven planets...
            > Now enjoy the Narnian Tarot:
            > http://druidjournal.net/2008/07/10/the-narnian-tarot/

            I've been following the discussion there with some interest, and find that
            though initially there was a rejection of the idea that the Narnian stories
            are allegory, the people there now seem to have accepted the idea of a
            project to allegorise them in relation to the Tarot.

            I find that a bit odd.

            The Tarot is a set of symbols, which sometimes correspond with people and
            events in the world we know. They may correspond with people and events in
            the Narnia stories, but it seems a strange exercise in reverse typology to
            try and turn the events or people in the stories into symbols.

            I think it might be an interesting and enjoyable exercise to discuss the
            possible relevance of some of the Tarot symbols to some of the events and
            people in the stories, but trying to do the reverse -- create a pack of Tarot
            cards from events in the stories, seems dull and futile and forced.


            --
            Steve Hayes
            E-mail: shayes@...
              Web: http://hayesfam.bravehost.com/stevesig.htm
                   http://people.tribe.net/hayesstw
               Blog: http://methodius.blogspot.com
            Phone: 083-342-3563 or 012-333-6727




            --
            Yvonne
            ~~
            http://yaburrow.googlepages.com/
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